When it comes to President Barack Obama’s “green jobs” push, the administration may be more interested in “green” than “jobs.”
Institute for Energy Research President Tom Pyle told The Daily Caller the Obama administration has been fairly consistent in its plans to use taxpayer dollars to fund “green jobs” training programs, partly as a marketing ploy to push its energy agenda.
“Nobody knows how to define what a ‘green job’ is so, what are they training for? I have no idea but I do know guys like Van Jones, Obama’s self-proclaimed energy czar, has been very, very vocal about using the government’s resources to jobs programs in the inner cities,” Pyle said in a phone interview. “They’ve been using this ‘green jobs’ rhetoric to kind of gloss up, if you will, what I would argue is nothing but a government program.”
The Obama administration is focused on what it calls “renewable energy,” but Pyle said the White House is really pushing a few agenda-driven energy programs: wind, solar and “efficiency” — things like new windows and caulking. The Department of Energy got $16.8 billion of stimulus funds for such programs.
Pyle said Obama’s team is also “obviously” interested in “electric cars, because they own General Motors and they’re promoting the hell out of that.” He said the administration is hassling companies that don’t fit its agenda, using the EPA and other enforcement agencies to make it more and more difficult for them to grow and create jobs.
“They were responding to public pressure to allow drilling for oil and gas offshore in March, then the BP spill happened in April, and they’ve used that not only as an excuse to go backwards but also to basically stop issuing permits to drill for oil and gas offshore,” Pyle told TheDC. “They’ve just shut down the entire process.”
Rick Manning from Americans for Limited Government told TheDC that if the Obama administration was serious about job creation, it would loosen the restrictions its agencies and administrations have on the private sector energy companies.
“If this administration wanted to jump employment, they could re-open drilling, end the EPAs attack on the Texas oil refineries, and stop killing jobs in the coal sector, and millions of jobs would be created,” Manning said in an e-mail.
These “renewable energy” programs are not sustainable industry drivers though, because they start falling apart once the government funding dries up. Pyle’s organization commissioned studies documenting the failure of similar programs in other countries.
“The government was going to guarantee either market share or help with production or some combination thereof to spur the industry,” Pyle said. “It worked great. People were lining up to build these facilities.”
But, after the windmills were built and the facilities were put together, the companies behind them only had to hire people to “mow the grass” and “lube the windmills,” Pyle said.
Pyle also said Denmark, for example, generates about 20 percent of its electricity from wind, but exports most of that to other countries because they can’t store it when they collect it.
“So, the result is, the people who got rich is the people who got in line to produce the windmills,” Pyle said. “They’re exporting the actual electricity, and, meanwhile, they’re subsidizing the project that has the highest rates in Europe.”